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Posted on Nov 5, 2022 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

2021 Charles S. Roberts Awards Nominees are out – and it’s time to vote for the winners!

2021 Charles S. Roberts Awards Nominees are out – and it’s time to vote for the winners!

Ray Garbee

After some delays, the nominees for the 2021 Charles S. Roberts Awards for Excellence in Conflict Simulation Games have been published. You can see the list over on the CSR website.

The awards are given in the following categories

  • Best Ancients to Medieval Era Board Wargame
  • Best Early Gunpowder Board Wargame 1453-1793 AD
  • Best Late Gunpowder to Pre-World War I Board Wargame, excluding American Civil War and Napoleonic Topics
  • Best Napoleonic Board Wargame
  • Best American Civil War Board Wargame
  • Best World War I Era Board Wargame
  • Best World War II Era Board Wargame
  • Best Modern Era Board Wargame
  • Best Science-Fiction or Fantasy Board Wargame
  • Best Solitaire or Cooperative Board Wargame
  • Best Magazine Board Wargame
  • Best Expansion or Supplement for an Existing Board Wargame
  • Best Board Wargame Playing Components
  • Best Board Wargame Map Graphics
  • Best Board Wargame Rules
  • Best Computer Wargame
  • Best Cover Art

In addition to the categories covering board games, there the media awards for

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  • Best wargame magazine and
  • Best Game Review or Analysis Website, Webcast or Podcast.
  • Best Individual Historical, Scenario Analysis, or Book

Then there’s the individual awards

  • Wargame of the Year
  • James F. Dunnigan Design Elegance Award
  • Clausewitz Award – The Hall of Fame “For an individual who has made significant contributions to the wargame industry, who has not been previously awarded.”
  • Charles S. Roberts – Best New Designer Award “For a designer or team of designers whose first or second published wargame design was released during the year.”

It’s quite a list. As long as it is, it feels streamlined compared to the prior couple of years. It’s a good thing, but it still provokes some head scratching regarding the categories. It’s something of a ‘lose-lose’ as too few categories lumps too many games together, while the other extreme results in too many categories with too few nominees. It feels like the CSR team has struck a reasonable balance between consolidation and preserving the sense of unique historical periods.

As I read through the categories, I think there will be a number of close run contests. It’s a reflection of how we board gamers have never had more great options from which to choose. While I’ve heard of all the nominees, I can’t say I’ve had the opportunity to play them.

It’s good to see games being recognized from a cross section of the industry, while at the same time staying true to the traditions and spirit of the CSR awards.

The list of Clausewitz award nominees is impressive. Any of the four nominees would be a worthy winner, with accomplishments that have advanced the hobby.

I’ll have tough choices in a few of the categories, but I’ll be up front with my fondness for Jeremy White’s Atlantic Chase. Jeremy created a novel approach to naval warfare in the Atlantic and did it in a way that is both historically reasonable and fun to play. Which is not to say it’s going to be an easy vote! (I’m looking at you Conquest & Consequence!).

Voting runs through December 10th, so surf over to the ballot and vote! And take a minute to tell us your favorites and why.

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